Budget Session: New Laws On Infrastructure, Mining, Electricity, Crypto, CCI, PFRDA And Manual Scavenging
People wearing protective masks ride near the construction site for the new Parliament building, part of the Central Vista Project redevelopment project. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

Budget Session: New Laws On Infrastructure, Mining, Electricity, Crypto, CCI, PFRDA And Manual Scavenging

Several new bills are expected to be considered by the Budget Session of Parliament, covering the creation of a new development finance institutions, ban on private cryptocurrencies, improved competitiveness of the mining sector, de-licensing of electricity distribution, amending the CCI and PFRDA laws and changes in the disciplinary mechanism for chartered accountants.

These are besides the Finance Bill that legislates the proposals made by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget. The budget will be presented in parliament on Feb. 1.

The Lok Sabha Bulletin lists 20 new bills to be taken up for introduction, consideration and passing. Listed below are some of the bills pertaining to commercial matters or industry.

The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill, 2021

Purpose
To set up a new Development Financial Institution as a provider, enabler and catalyst for infrastructure financing and as the principal financial institution and development bank for building and sustaining a supportive ecosystem across the life cycle of infrastructure projects.

Also read: NaBFID: New Development Financial Institution Bill This Parliament Session

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021

Purpose
To create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2021

Purpose
To bring structural changes in the mining sector through amendment in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, to accelerate growth and generate employment; improve the competitiveness of the mining sector by removing the legacy issues and attracting private investments by bringing in international best practices in exploration and mining.

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Purpose
The proposed amendments entail de-licensing of the distribution business and bring in competition, appointment of member from law background in every Commission, strengthening of APTEL, penalty for non compliance of RPO, prescribing Rights and Duties of Consumers.

The Metro Rail (Construction, Operation and Maintenance) Bill, 2021

Purpose
The bill proposes to provide legal framework for construction, operation and maintenance of metro rail projects including those under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. After enactment of the bill, the new Act will replace the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002 and the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978.

The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Purpose
To reform and speed up the disciplinary mechanism of the institutes.

The Competition (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Purpose
To carry out certain essential structural changes in the governing structure of the Competition Commission of India, changes to substantive provisions to address the needs for new age markets and to expand the activities of the commission across India by opening regional offices.

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Purpose
To amend PFRDA Act to fulfil the budget announcement made in 2019 regarding the separation of NPS Trust from PFRDA and budget announcement in 2020 for ensuring universal pension coverage as well as strengthening PFRDA.

The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (To replace Ordinance)

Purpose
To address the concerns raised by stakeholders after the enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 and to ensure that all the stakeholder parties get an opportunity to seek unconditional stay of enforcement of arbitral awards where the underlying arbitration agreement or contract or making of the arbitral award are induced by fraud or corruption.

Also on the list of new laws to be legislated is one that will hopefully put an end to manual scavenging in India, an inhuman and hazardous profession that has taken the health and lives of many sanitation workers across the country.

The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Purpose
The bill proposes for complete mechanisation of sewer cleaning and to provide better protection in work and compensation in case of accidents.

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